As a lawyer representing handling serious injury and wrongful death cases resulting from tractor trailer accidents, I work all the time with the  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and monitor what’s happening with trucking safety regulation.

Looking ahead to the  transition at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is interesting to look back at what the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee said in a report on the FMCSA last July. Here are a few excerpts:

The rules that FMCSA has proposed fail to achieve maximum safety benefits, and in some instances may undermine safety.

The FMCSA has shown a pattern of undermining its safety mission by proposing weak regulations and failing to provide adequate oversight and enforcement of existing regulations.

While marginal gains were made in 2007 compared to 2006, the charts show that over two-thirds of inspections continue to uncover violations, and one in five trucks or drivers inspected have violations so severe that they are immediately placed out of service. FMCSA has a great deal of work to do to compel industry compliance.

While I have limited confidence in any government agency, let’s hope trucking safety improves, and is not totally undermined by  judges who are too busy to take the time to remedy their lack of understanding of motor carrier safety.



Ken Shigley has been designated as a "Super Lawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and  one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Master of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory Law School, and served as a faculty member for ten years at the Emory University Law School Trial Techniques Program.  He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute (2005) and the Georgia Insurance Law Institute (1994). A member of  the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, he is actively involved in the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and has lectured at continuing legal education programs on interstate trucking litigation both at home in Georgia, and in New Orleans, Nashville, St. Louis and Chicago. A member of the Million Dollar Advocates, he has successfully tried trucking accident cases to multimillion dollar verdict.  He was recently elected Secretary of the 39,000 member State Bar of Georgia.